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Following successful completion of the two area exams, students must complete an original research project on an advanced topic.

The advisory committee for the dissertation will consist of three members of the graduate faculty, one of whom will assume the primary advisory role.

Dissertation Proposal

As soon as possible, and normally within eight weeks of the oral exam, the student submits to the committee a final version of the dissertation proposal, consisting of eight to twelve double-spaced pages, and a reading list/works cited in MLA form, accompanied by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies form. The form and dissertation proposal are copied to the Graduate Studies Committee before being forwarded to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

By the end of the winter term of the student’s third year, the student must have submitted a working chapter of the dissertation to the committee (minimum: 25 pages) that demonstrates the feasibility of the project, as well as the student’s ability to realize it. Failure to achieve this milestone will result in a rating of unsatisfactory on the annual progress report; two such consecutive ratings will result in a recommendation to withdraw from the program.


The dissertation should normally be between 50,000 and 75,000 words in length. The regulations and procedures at the university in which the student is registered will govern both the dissertation and the examination formats. See the academic calendar for dissertation regulations and procedures.

Contact Us:

Graduate Program Coordinator

E: Jing Jing Chang

Senior Administrative Assistant

E: Joanne Buchan

General Inquiries


Graduate Studies Committee Members

E: Tamas Dobozy
E: Madelaine Hron
E: Russell Kilbourn